Original Excellent U.S. Civil War Smith & Wesson Model 2 Army .32cal Revolver with 6" Barrel & Factory Letter - Serial 27627

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent example of a Smith & Wesson .32-caliber rimfire Model 2 Army Revolver, with a 6 inch unshortened barrel. These were very popular as backup weapons for Union officers, used after their percussion revolver's cylinder was spent.

The serial number is 27627, dating the year of production to be approximately late 1864, about a 80% of the way through wartime production. In a first, we have a letter on official SMITH & WESSON LETTERHEAD, giving research information about this revolver. We were not even aware that letters as these were obtainable, and it is the first example that we have ever seen. Dated December 20 1991, it bears the signature of Roy G. Jinks, the Smith & Wesson historian, stamped with a S&W Raised seal.

The letter contains background information on the Model 2, and then reveals that your hand gun, with serial number 27627, was shipped [from the Smith & Wesson warehouse] in October 1864, and delivered to J. W. Storrs, New York, New York, a large wholesaler who was Smith & Wesson's sole agent. The letterhead is 100% original, and even has a large S&W Monogram watermark visible in the light. A fantastic document to accompany a great example of this popular revolver!

The rosewood grips on the revolver are original and have matching serial number 27627 on the inside of the right scale, and still almost all of the original factory varnish, though there is some wear on the corners. The revolver has a lovely aged patina overall, with some areas of the original blued finish still present, giving it a great look.

It still has the original Smith & Wesson address marking nicely marked on top of the barrel rib:


The Patent information on the cylinder is also fully intact, a real rarity:

PATENTED APRIL 3. 1855. JULY 5.1859 & DEC 18 1860.

Also, assembly number H 7 can be seen on the grip frame under the grips, on the front of the cylinder, and on the back of the barrel assembly. This is a very nice "ALL MATCHING" example, and is definitely one of the best Model 2s that we have ever had! The revolver cycles well, with good indexing and a firm cylinder lockup. The only issue is that the hand spring is weak, so the revolver must be pointed slightly downward to cycle. The bore is in very good condition, with clear lands and grooves and a partly bright finish, with light fouling and oxidation.

Revolvers with serial numbers under 35,731 are considered to be civil war guns since they were manufactured before May 1st, 1865. All are 32-caliber rimfire with a six shot non-fluted cylinder. All were manufactured with rosewood grips and blue or nickel-plated finishes. The barrels are marked on top with the manufacturer and patent dates are stamped on the cylinder. Most were made with 6 or 5 inch barrels, with 4 available as a special order.

According to published sources, 77,155 Model 2 Army revolvers were made. To date, the serial numbers on observed specimens have not substantiated this figure, 76,642 being the highest number noted. Unfortunately, the Smith & Wesson factory records for this period are incomplete and do not give a comprehensive picture of production.

This is a rare chance to own a historically significant gun in great condition, complete with a rare Smith & Wesson factory letter! A fantastic display piece!


Year of Manufacture: c.1864-5
Caliber: .32cal
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 6 inches
Overall Length: 11 inches
Action: Single Action 
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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